Hiram College

The Common First-Year Experience

Every incoming Hiram student has a unique contribution to make to their class. Therefore, Hiram’s First Year Experience (FYE) ensures that all entering students come together for formal and informal activities, academic and social programs, and large and small events. Some of the key components of the FYE program include:

  • Institute Week: This four-day interactive program kick-starts the Fall semester as new students meet for the first time, become acclimated to the campus, and engage in academic and social activities including the square dance—a long-standing Hiram tradition.
  • The Common Reading Program: An integral part of Institute Week is reading sections of the book loaded onto your Hiram iPad; this reading provides fodder for discussions and assignments during Institute Week and throughout your first semester.
  • The Enduring Questions Seminar: A four-credit class where your professor guides you and approximately 15 other new students through an examination of an enduring question such as “What is a Self?” and teaches you how to tackle college-level writing and speaking assignments.
  • The Common Questions Hour: A chance for all first-year students to meet as a group and to collectively address questions both big and small, considering everything from collegiate norms and community expectations to the ethical questions raised in the Common Reading.

Throughout the FYE, students begin to explore the “Five Cs” of Hiram Connect: Character, Career, Curriculum, Community, and Calling. As a part of this exploration, you will ponder these types of questions:

  • What kind of person do I want to be?
  • What kind of work do I want to do?
  • What should I learn and what skills should I build?
  • How can I serve my community?
  • How can I build a meaningful life?